As with many human foods, there are both benefits and disadvantages of using almonds for dogs. The main advantage of feeding dogs almonds is that these nuts are rich in nutrients. Almonds also make a convenient treat, since they are both affordable and available in most grocery stores. A disadvantage of almonds for dogs is that large amounts can cause stomach upset, weight gain and other health problems. If a dog does not chew properly, almonds can also be a choking hazard or get lodged in the intestines.
The greatest benefit of almonds for dogs is that these nuts are high in several vitamins and nutrients, including manganese, vitamin E, magnesium, vitamin B2 and phosphorous. Almonds are also rich in monounsaturated fat, which is one of the healthiest types of fat. In small amounts, almonds make a healthy occasional treat.
Almonds are not just good for dogs, as they also benefit dog owners. These nuts are inexpensive and readily available. Many dog owners also find them to be a convenient substitute for traditional dog treats.
In addition to these benefits, there are several disadvantages of giving almonds to dogs. Whole almonds can be difficult for dogs to digest, especially in large quantities. Dogs that eat too many might suffer from an upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea. This makes some people question the safety of almonds for dogs. Yet, while dogs and nuts are not always a good mix, there is no reason to believe that almonds are toxic.
Consuming large amounts of almonds can cause health problems for dogs. Almonds are high in both fat and calories. Dogs that are given large amounts of almonds might gain weight or develop pancreatitis due to the high fat content. Pancreatitis is a serious medical condition that can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, heart arrhythmia, difficulty breathing, and even death.
Another potential problem with almonds for dogs is that these nuts can be a choking hazard. Dogs that tend to swallow their treats without chewing should not be given whole almonds. They can get stuck in the throat or intestines, which could lead to serious health problems. Before giving an almond to a very small dog or one that does not chew its food, the nut should be chopped into smaller pieces. This will keep it from becoming lodged in the throat or inhibiting digestion.
When feeding almonds to dogs, owners should be aware that the healthiest almonds are raw and unsalted. Dogs should not be given almonds that are sweetened with artificial sweeteners or covered in salt. Also, due to their high fat content, almonds should only be given as an occasional treat In most cases, one almond is enough to reward a dog without causing stomach upset or other health problems.